Tiny Action: Protect American Families

Just days before Congress hammered Mark Zuckerberg over data privacy, Trump’s Department of Homeland Security submitted a rule that would require all visa applicants to the U.S. to release their social media identities for the previous five years when applying for an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa.

This is part of this administration’s continued, unnecessary closed-border policies that directly impact Americans abroad and our families.

This week’s Tiny Action: Protect American families impacted by harmful immigration policies.


1. Submit a comment in opposition to these new plans mentioned above, by emailing PRA_BurdenComments@state.gov.

My name is [NAME]. I am an American living in [CITY, COUNTRY] and I vote in [STATE].

I am submitting my comments for Docket Number DOS-2018-0003.
        - Title of Information Collection: Electronic Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration.
        - 
Form Number: DS-260
        - OMB Control Number: 1405-0185.

I strongly oppose the collection of social media data from visa applicants and the additional questions proposed to the visa application process. It is intrusive, unnecessary and an ineffective use of resources, and likely opens the door to racial profiling of visitors and immigrants.

This clearly goes beyond what is relevant or necessary to protect national security, and in some instances even go further into individual histories than security clearance forms for government employees.

The questions proposed are overly broad and burdensome and do not include any standards or guidance regarding who will be asked these questions, thereby increasing the likelihood of inconsistent and ineffective determinations as well as bias and profiling in visa adjudication.

The proposal offers no specificity with respect to social media, creating substantial concerns regarding the meaning or purpose of the question; the substantial impact of the question on privacy and freedom of speech and expression of U.S. citizens and residents; and the use, storage, and retention of the information collected about visa applicants, U.S. citizens, and U.S. residents.

Finally, the department’s own materials estimate that this would add an additional 1.8 million annual hours of work, which is an inappropriate use of resources and adds to the already extensive wait time for visa applicants.

As an American living overseas, I understand the importance of proper vetting and a stringent visa application process. But I also understand what the impact of this proposal would be. The 14.7 million people who would be affected include thousands if not millions of multinational American families. The ability for our families to visit loved ones in the U.S., and to return to the U.S. with us, should not be held hostage by arbitrary searches.

Please do not add to our already extensive, exhausting visa application process.

Sincerely,

2. Tell Senate to vote for the Leahy-Daines bill, to place restrictions on searches and seizures of electronic devices at the border (S.2462).

My name is [NAME]. I am an American living in [CITY, COUNTRY] and I vote in [ZIP, STATE].

I’m calling to ask Senator [NAME] to support the Leahy-Daines bill, to place restrictions on searches and seizures of electronic devices at the border (S.2462).

The recent news that the Department of Homeland Security may ask visa applicants to hand over their social media accounts as one of multiple additional steps in Trump’s “extreme vetting” is unacceptable. The border is not a Constitution-free zone.

As an American living overseas, I understand the importance of proper vetting and a stringent visa application process. But I also understand what the impact of this proposal would be. The 14.7 million people who would be affected include thousands if not millions of multinational American families. The ability for our families to visit loved ones in the U.S., and to return to the U.S. with us, should not be held hostage by arbitrary searches.

Thank you very much.

3. Tell your Rep and Senators to vote for the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018 (H.R. 5233; S. 2522).

My name is [NAME]. I am an American living in [CITY, COUNTRY] and I vote in [ZIP, STATE]. I’m calling to ask Senator/Congress(wo)man [NAME] to support the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018 (H.R. 5233; S. 2522), to provide citizenship for adoptees to American parents.

International adoptees who were adopted by American parents and raised as Americans should have the same rights of citizenship as biological children. For the 35,000-75,000 international adoptees living in the United States without citizenship, as well as the thousands more living with American parents overseas, this must be corrected.

Thank you.

WHY IT MATTERS

Trump’s xenophobic approach to immigration is an insult to the history of the United States and to the global perspective that Americans overseas know so well. For many of us, it’s also an insult to our own families.

Not only is the request for social media, email and phone details an invasion of privacy, it will also make the visa process more complex and longer than it already is.

“Extreme vetting” has had both direct and indirect implications, leading to the number of immigrants approved for family-based visas falling to its lowest level in more than a decade.

MORE INFO

 

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